Bandi Sanjay’s meteoric rise from small-timer party worker to Union Minister

 Telangana | Written by : IANS Updated: Mon, Jun 10, 2024, 12:12 PM

Hyderabad, June (IANS) From a small-time party worker to becoming a Union Minister of State, Bandi Sanjay Kumar has come a long way in his political journey.

The two-time MP from Karimnagar and currently the national General Secretary of the BJP, Bandi Sanjay is credited with the rise of BJP as a strong force in the state after he was appointed the party’s state unit chief in 2020, a post he held till last year.

Known for his aggressive Hindutva politics, the 53-year-old took on the previous Bharat Rashtra Samithi (BRS) government head-on.

Associated with the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) since his student days, he was also active in its frontal organisations.

He held various positions in the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) at Karimnagar and at the state level and later served in the Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha (BJYM) as well.

Bandi Sanjay served as the Director of Karimnagar Cooperative Urban Bank from 1994 to 2003. He was elected as the BJP corporator thrice and also served as the President of BJP’s Karimnagar city unit.

In 2014, he secured a BJP ticket from the Karimnagar Assembly seat but lost to Gangula Kamalakar of the BRS by a margin of over 24,000 votes. In 2018, he again finished runner-up against the same opponent, but the margin came down to about 15,000.

His biggest achievement came in 2019 when he won the Karimnagar Lok Sabha seat, defeating sitting MP B. Vinod Kumar of the BRS by over 89,000 votes.

The 2019 elections saw BJP riding the PM Modi wave to clinch four seats in the state, the party’s best ever performance.

Known as a rabble-rouser, Bandi Sanjay was named state BJP chief in 2020 and this proved a big boost for the party as he with his aggressive approach brought a new enthusiasm in the party.

Under his leadership, the BJP consolidated its position by winning two Assembly by-elections and emerged as the second largest party in the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC). The party also replaced the Congress as the main opposition.

Political analysts say that BJP hardly had any presence before Bandi Sanjay became the President of the state unit. He was seen as a street fighter, under whose leadership the party gained momentum.

His efforts to strengthen the BJP also won praise from Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Union Home Minister Amit Shah, and BJP President J.P. Nadda on several occasions.

However, the revolt by a section of party leaders against his leadership forced the BJP high command to remove him as the state unit chief of the BJP.

The central leadership later rewarded him with the post of national General Secretary.

Bandi Sanjay was fielded as the party candidate from the Karimnagar Assembly constituency in the elections held in November 2023. He, however, lost to Gangula Kamalakar of the BRS again, this time by a narrow margin of 3,163 votes.

Recovering from this defeat, Bandi Sanjay came back strongly to retain the Karimnagar Lok Sabha seat in last month’s elections. He defeated his nearest rival Velicharla Rajender Rao of the Congress by over 2.25 lakh votes.

Hailing from the Munnuru Kapu community, Bandi Sanjay is married to Bandi Aparna, an employee with the State Bank of India. The couple has two children – Sai Bhagirath and Sai Sumukh.